The PokerNews Mid-States Poker Tour invaded Ho-Chunk Gaming Wisconsin Dells in Baraboo, WI this past weekend for the third time, and set the state prize pool record for the second consecutive stop in Wisconsin.
Last March the MSPT attracted 300-runners for the $1,100 buy-in event creating a $299,800 prize pool to set the mark.
The PokerNews MSPT and Ho-Chunk Gaming teamed up again this past week which culminated in another record prize pool of $305,000, and arguably one of the most accomplished final tables we’ve seen yet.
The star of the show was 22-year old Josh Reichard of Janesville, WI. This was Reichard’s second MSPT cash, he placed 15th in the very first stop at Ho-Chunk in September of 2012. His largest career score prior to Sunday’s win was $31,565. Reichard survived Day 1B in the middle of the pack after bagging 85,900. He accumulated a large stack throughout Day 2 action and never faltered.
Reichard arrived at the final table as the chip leader with 1,081,000, more than 300,000 more than his next closest opponent. He made quick work of the final table, even eliminating John Hayes and Brett Kuznia on the same hand when he woke up with aces in the big blind after both had shoved all-in before him.
Reichard played flawlessly on his way to earning $78,003 and the RF Moeller diamond championship bracelet for the win. Despite closing things out in quick-fashion, it was certainly no easy task considering the impressive resumes of several players at the final table, including two past MSPT champions.
Jason Seitz, a poker dealer from Shakopee, MN, reached his third MSPT final table and earned a sixth MSPT cash – tying him for third all-time. Seitz also housed an MSPT event in 2011 for over $56K. He would place ninth here for $7,359, bringing his total MSPT earnings to $78,516.
Brett Kuznia of Stephen, MN drove over nine hours to attend the MSPT Ho-Chunk event and he picked up more than gas money in the process. Kuznia has been on a roll this season - this marked his fifth consecutive MSPT cash and sixth MSPT cash lifetime tying him for third all-time with Seitz and several others. This was also Kuznia’s fourth MSPT final table tying him for second all-time, behind only Everett Carlton. Kuznia went out seventh for $10,302.
In most instances, it would be difficult enough for Reichard to get through just Seitz and Kuznia – but there were more.
Poker pro John Hayes – also widely known as “JohnnyGstaks” – was an online phenom prior to Black Friday, winning millions on the virtual felt. Hayes has made a smooth transition to the live game. This was his sixth MSPT cash which includes three final tables and a win earlier this season. Hayes almost closed out a WSOP bracelet two summers ago when he placed third in Event 49 for $99,409. He would add another $11,774 to his bankroll for his sixth place finish at Ho-Chunk.
Its been a dream year for PokerNews Sr. News Editor Chad Holloway. Holloway won his first WSOP bracelet this past summer in Event 1 and was looking to add an MSPT bracelet to his collection. Holloway hails from a nearby town called Reedsburg and is a regular in the Ho-Chunk Gaming weekly PLO game. Holloway took home $14,718 for fifth place.
Rob WazWaz of Minneapolis, MN is a regular high-limit cash game player at Canterbury Park. This was WazWaz’ third MSPT final table. In his prior two appearances, he had failed to get further than tenth place. He arrived at the final table as the shortest stack and was soon at risk of being eliminated in tenth place again as the first player to be all-in. This time though he was able to double up to make a run before eventually being eliminated in fourth place by Miroslav Semanisin – a truck driver from Wisconsin Dells. The two players got it in pre-flop, WazWaz with 88 versus Semanisin’s AA. Semanisin held to send WazWaz to the rail with $19,133.
Despite Semanisin amassing a healthy stack after eliminating WazWaz, it wouldn’t take long for Reichard to seal the deal.
Just a couple hands later, Reichard raises pre-flop with 2♣5♣. Semanisin calls with A♥10♦. The flop landed 4♠K♠5♥. Reichard fired again and received another call from Semanisin. The 10♥ on the turn gave Semanisin the lead with second-pair, but Reichard fired another bullet and received a call from Semanisin. The 2♦ on the river put Reichard back out front with two-pair. This time Reichard jammed the rest of his stack. Semanisin tanked knowing he would be left with 1 big blind if he were to call and be wrong. In the end, Semanisin made the call giving Reichard nearly all the chips in play.
With a commanding chip lead, Reichard continued to put Mark Borns all-in during heads up play. Borns is an attorney from Madison, WI making his first MSPT cash.
Just a few hands in, Reichard open-shoved K♠J♠ and got a quick call from Borns with Q♠4♠. The 2♣6♣2♦8♠9♠ was clean for Reichard making him the newest PokerNews MSPT champion.